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Powerbook G5
Apr 19, 2004, 10:07 PM
I'm sorry if this has been posted before but I cannot find the exact answers with the search. I just got a Linksys wireless router to use with my PowerBook, and it worked instantly as soon as I plugged it in, but I need help with working with configuration. I know that you can add a password, adjust the power levels, channel settings, etc, but I cannot seem to find those options. Are they only available with Apple's Airport or can I do these things with this Linksys, too? I just want to make this secure so I am not broadcasting all over the dorms. Thanks in advance for any help.

edit: I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get this to work with my roommate's computer. He has WiFi (802.11b) but no matter how much playing around we do with it and following the instructions, it just won't connect. Anyone know how to get Windows XP to play nicely with wireless?

RBMaraman
Apr 19, 2004, 10:20 PM
PowerBook G5,

Be sure to read the instruction manual that came with the router.

I too have a Linksys, and I believe you can not configure the router wirelessly. You must connect a cable to one of the switches on the router and then to your PB. Then, open your web browser, enter the IP address that's in the manual, and follow the direction for setting up a WAP password, etc. Once that's done, you'll be wireless and secure!

Also, you cannot use the Airport Admin Utility to administer the router. That App can only be used with the AE or Airport Base Station.

Like I said, all of the information is in the manual that came with the router.

Powerbook G5
Apr 19, 2004, 10:28 PM
I seem to be able to connect to the config site wirelessly and set things that way, the only problem is since the Linksys isn't supposed to be Mac compatible, it makes no mention on how to do things on Mac OS. What's really odd is the fact that the box says how it is 100% Centrino/WiFi compatible and just plug and play but even with using the CD and following step by step, it still refuses to see the router for my roommate's HP laptop. So if I set the password, that's all I need to keep secure?

RBMaraman
Apr 19, 2004, 10:42 PM
I know the book makes no mention of Mac support, but you can still use it to configure the router.

As long as you have a WEP password setup, then your secure. When you first select your network from the AirPort icon in the menu bar after you setup your WEP password, it should prompt you for it. Enter it, save it to keychain, and your all setup and secure.

By the way, I use 128-bit encryption, so my password is like 25 characters.

Rod Rod
Apr 20, 2004, 01:36 PM
Hi PowerBook G5,

I have the Linksys WRT54g and I have it working with my Macs and a couple of XP laptops.

All the configuration stuff is done on the web-based setup utility so it's not platform-specific. I set mine up using Safari. I've changed settings both wired and wirelessly. It's possible there are some operations that have to be done wired but I don't recall what they are.. maybe upgrading firmware (which again isn't platform-specific / you can do it on your Mac) or setting up WEP stuff.

RBMaraman would probably disagree, but I think WEP is a waste of time. What I recommend are four things: 1. Enabling the MAC address filter. 2. Disabling SSID broadcast. 3. Changing SSID. 4. Creating a new password to get into the setup utility.

Your MAC address is in System Preferences - Network - Airport. Your roommate's MAC address is in Start - Programs - Accessories - System Information. If the MAC address that shows up is for the the NIC and not the wireless.. the MAC address may show up on mouse-over after you double-click the wireless network icon on the right side of his taskbar.

I hope this helps.

RBMaraman
Apr 20, 2004, 02:07 PM
RBMaraman would probably disagree, but I think WEP is a waste of time. What I recommend are four things: 1. Enabling the MAC address filter. 2. Disabling SSID broadcast. 3. Changing SSID. 4. Creating a new password to get into the setup utility.


Actually, I completely agree that WEP is a waste of time. But, for a first timer setting up wireless, its the easiest solution. Most people don't even know about MAC address, or SSID broadcasting, so setting up a WEP password is fine for people who know nothing about how to setup their own network.

Once they begin to understand the different settings, and they determine how secure they want their network to be, then they can setup the more advanced stuff.

Also, you have to be careful when working on a college network. At my university, technically I'm not even supposed to be wireless. If I enable or disable some settings, other than a WEP password, then it sets off a network flag and I lose my network connection.

By the way, I have the same Linkysys router (at college), and I plan to get another one when I get home from school to make our new DSL connection wireless. I plan to do the exact same things as you (enabled the MAC address filter, changed SSID and disable the broadcasting, and changed the setup utility password) to the router at home.

wPod
Apr 20, 2004, 02:19 PM
I agree with Rod Rod and RBMaraman it just depends on how techinical you want to get. The more precautions you take, the safer your network will be.

As for XP. . . In the lower right hand corner where the clock is there should be a wireless icon. (if this and a network icon are not availble you may have to set up a network, but they should be visible or hidden behind an arrow) right click the wireless icon and select 'properties' then you should find a box titled 'Available Networks" and then you can select the SSID that matches your router. if you do not broadcast the SSID then you can select add to add your router. nothing is ever as easy on XP as it is in OS X. if you need more help, it might be easier to get someone who knows about XP to physically be at the machine. i could explain 10 different things that could be wrong and sometimes with M$ products its faster to have some one sit down and look at it.

Westside guy
Apr 20, 2004, 02:36 PM
Hi there,

Generally you should almost always make configuration changes via a wired port - it's too easy to temporarilly screw up your wireless access while configuring your router.

I'm going to provisionally disagree with the other two guys here - while I agree WEP is flawed, it does provide some protection against the casual 15-year-old who just got his Orinoco wireless card and has downloaded some sniffer tools. Since the "crackability" of WEP is more or less independent of the keylength, though, just use 40-bit encryption (it might be termed 64-bit on your router, but they're two different ways of saying the same thing).

However if your Linksys will do WPA (check their site for updates), you should use that rather than WEP.

BTW I would also agree with everything else that was said - but don't do the MAC filtering right away. Get your setup working with the other settings (that is, with a changed SSID that's not being broadcast), then try MAC filtering.

The other thing to note is this: Once you've turned off SSID, your Powerbook isn't going to auto-detect the network (that may be obvious). So you'll have to manually enter the information at least once.

Powerbook G5
Apr 20, 2004, 08:41 PM
Thanks for the responses, they are really helpful. The documentation that came with the Linksys is completely useless so this information makes a world of difference. I must say that this is a great router. It's so much more reliable and seems to actually be faster than even the Microsoft 5 port router/switch I was using before using actual wired connections.